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Veggie chilli

June 2, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser


2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, about 500g
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 cloves garlic
a bunch of fresh coriander
1 fresh red chilli
1 fresh green chilli
2 x 400 g tinned beans, such as kidney, chickpea, pinto and cannellini
2 x 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6.
2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks. Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, then spread out on a baking tray and set aside.
3. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
4. Pick the coriander leaves and put aside, then finely chop the stalks. Deseed and finely chop the chillies.
5. Place the sweet potatoes in the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until soft and golden.
6. Meanwhile, put a large pan over a medium-high heat and add a couple lugs of olive oil. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add the coriander stalks, chilli and spices and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring every couple of minutes.
8. Drain the beans, then tip them into the pan with the tinned tomatoes. Stir well and bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and leave to tick away for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Keep an eye on it, and add a splash of water if it gets a bit thick.
9. Stir the roasted sweet potato through your chilli with most of the coriander leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you think it needs it.
10. Scatter the remaining leaves over the top, and serve with some soured cream, guacamole and rice or tortilla chips.


Crisp baked potatoesr

April 20, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser, Cuisine: Fruits & Vegetables, Skill Level: Easy and Fast

4 tsp Olive oil
8 large baking potatoes
300 ml pot soured cream
preheat the oven to 220 C. stir a little oil over each potatoe and put on the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Make a cross in the centre of each potao, dollop over the soured cream and serve.


April 14, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser, Skill Level: Moderate

Olive oil
400 g Poached Potatoes
125 g frozen peas
2 onion, Chopped and fried
1 cloves of garlic
1 fresh green chilli
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Sea salt
Black pepper
From the dough:
550 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
to make the dough, in a large and shallow bowl combine the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt. Use your fingers to rub in 120ml of oil until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir n 150ml of cold water, then bring it toghether with your hands into a rough dough, adding a splash more water, if needed. place in a flour- dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, mashed potatos finely and add garlic and garlic and cook about 15 minutes toghether. then add peas, chilli and parsley and cook about 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. lightly grease a large baking tray with oil.
On a flour- dusted surface, halve the dough and roll out each portion to about 3 cm thick. Using a 7cm pastry cutter, stamp out as many circles as you can, then roll into rounds, roughly 1/2 cm thick and 18 cm in diameter. Cut each round in half, then brush the straight edges together and pressing lightly to seal. Spoon in the filling, brush the exposed dough with a little water, then fold over and press to seal.
Place onto the prepared baking tray, then repeat with the remaining ingredients, keeping the samosas covered with a damp tea towel as you go. Brush with a little oil and place in the hot oven for around 45 minutes, or until golden and piping hot through. Serve straightaway with mango chutney.

Slow-Roasted Sweet Onions

April 6, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser, Skill Level: Easy and Fast

12 large sweet onions
1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, such as Thassos, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, chopped
1/4 cup demerara sugar
1/4 cup poultry or veal demiglace (see Note)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as grapeseed
3 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 325°. Peel off the outer layers of the onions until each one is about 3 inches in diameter. Trim the root ends so the onions stand upright. Arrange the onions on a large rimmed baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for about 4 hours, until they are partially softened.
Remove the foil and bake the onions in the upper third of the oven for 2 hours longer, rotating them occasionally, until they are very tender and richly browned outside. If the onions start to pop out of their skins, push them back in.
Meanwhile, spread the chopped olives on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at high power for 12 minutes until the olives are dehydrated but still plump; transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the olives to a medium bowl and wipe out the food processor.
Pulse the almonds in the food processor until finely ground; transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the demerara sugar. Bake in the same oven as the onions for about 6 minutes, stirring a few times, until golden and toasted. Let cool. Add the almonds to the olives and toss well.
In a saucepan, bring the demiglace to a boil. Transfer to a blender. Add the oil and vinegar and blend well. Season with salt.
Using a serrated knife, cut off the top fourth of each onion. Transfer the onions to plates. Spoon the vinaigrette on top and garnish with the almond-olive mixture. Serve right away.
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by Aaron

The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce

March 9, 2015 in All Recipes, Course: Appetiser, Skill Level: Moderate

4 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, preferably imported D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes (see note above)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing.
4 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 medium carrot, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, split in half
1 large stem fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves (or a mix of the two)
Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes by squeezing them in your fingers until pieces no larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer 3 cups of crushed tomatoes to a sealed container and reserve in the refrigerator until step 4.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, and basil, and stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
Cover Dutch oven with lid slightly ajar and transfer to oven. Cook, stirring once every 1 to 2 hours, until reduced by about half and darkened to a deep red, 5 to 6 hours (reduce oven temperature if the sauce is bubbling too rapidly or the browned bits begin to turn too dark).
Remove from oven. Using tongs, discard onion halves, carrots, and basil stems. Add reserved tomatoes to sauce and stir to combine. Add fish sauce, if using. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in minced herbs along with additional olive oil as desired. Serve immediately, or allow to cool at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Sauce can also be frozen in sealed containers for up to 6 months. To reheat, warm very gently in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, stirring until it all melts and heats through.

Deviled Eggs

February 21, 2015 in Course: Appetiser, Skill Level: Easy

For the Egg Meringues:
1000 grams fresh egg whites
200 grams sugar
112 grams egg white powder
28 grams Versawhip
9 grams xantham gum
8 grams lemon juice
Deviled Egg Filling:
6 large hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Fuji vinegar
Salt and pepper
Optional Garnishes:
Chopped chives
Salmon roe
To a vitaprep or standard blender, add egg whites and lemon juice, and blend until incorporated. Add all other ingredients and blend again until completely incorporated.
Working in 1 cup batches, place mixture in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until mixture is quadrupled in volume and appears light and airy.
Preheat oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place whipped mixture in pastry bag fitted with an 805 piping tip. Pipe meringues onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 1/2-inch space in between each meringue. Bake for 2-3 hours or until meringues are completely dried. Hollow out center of meringues with either a knife or a melon baller and store in an airtight container until ready to fill.
For the filling, in a food processor, chop hard boiled eggs to a fine consistency. Working in small batches, transfer eggs to a blender and blend with mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar until smooth. Return mixture to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a piping bag and gently pipe mixture into hollowed meringues. Garnish with chopped chives and salmon roe.

Sautéed Shrimp with Shrimp Hummus

January 27, 2015 in Course: Appetiser

1/3 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound medium shrimp in their shells
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy
Freshly ground pepper
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, whisk the chickpea flour and water until smooth. Whisk in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Heat 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Pour in about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chickpea batter, tilting the skillet to distribute the batter evenly. Cook over moderate heat until browned and crisp on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the cracker and brown the bottom, about 20 seconds. Transfer the cracker to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 5 more crackers.
Peel and devein 18 of the shrimp; reserve the shells. Cut the remaining unpeeled shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp pieces and the reserved shrimp shells and cook over high heat, stirring, until starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until shiny, about 1 minute. Add the cognac and boil for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 12 minutes.
Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a food processor and process until the shells are finely ground. Pass the jus through a fine strainer into the saucepan. Boil the jus over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 7 minutes.
In a blender, puree the chickpeas with 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Whisk the puree into the reduced shrimp jus and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until heated through.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shelled shrimp and cook over moderate heat, turning a few times, until just white throughout, about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and generously with pepper.
To serve, ladle the shrimp hummus into shallow bowls. Place the shrimp in the bowls, drizzling the peppery oil from the skillet around the shrimp. Arrange a chickpea cracker alongside the shrimp and serve

Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto

January 24, 2015 in Course: Appetiser

1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese, a room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 pitted (12 ounces) Medjool dates
8 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
Special equipment: 16 toothpicks or cocktail picks
In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses and basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Gently pull the dates apart and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture inside. Close the dates around the filling. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each date and secure with a toothpick.
Arrange the stuffed dates on a platter and serve.

Chicken Corn Chowder Soup

January 6, 2015 in Course: Appetiser


2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 green onions
1 tsp butter
3 tsp all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups milk
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 tbsp fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. While stirring, slowly add in chicken broth and whisk until well blended.
Whisk in the milk and add the corn and thyme to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and bring back to a simmer, remove from the heat and top with green onions, ladle into bowls and serve warm.

Chicken-Stuffed Bell Pepper

January 4, 2015 in Course: Appetiser

8 red (or any color) bell peppers
2 cups boneless chicken, cooked and finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup sweet corn
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
6-8 green chilli, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove and discard the seeds.  Place the peppers, cut-side up, into a 3-quart shallow baking dish.
Melt the butter and a large skillet over med-high heat.
Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot, celery stalks, sweet corn, dried thyme, green chilli and tomato puree. Stir to combine well and cook for another 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cream, half of the monterey jack and cheddar, salt and pepper. Stir in the vegetable mixture. Let the filling cool.
Spoon the filling into the pepper halves. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender.